Stuck in Melbourne, Geelong’s game starts as my own teams, Power House’s ends.
It was a muddy mess down at the Ross Gregory Oval on Albert Park Lake. Views like no other, but a mud pile like no other too.
Local footy. The beginning of Winter. Home.
I hope the weather is more tolerable for our boys at Kardinia. But I also pray for rain, because, as I have heard before “Geelong play better in the rain”.
Back in St Kilda,I go to clean the change rooms and find a number of wet, muddied and dirtied jumpers laying on the floor. The Cats are trailing by a hefty first quarter margin, as I’m watching on my phone.
Both the muddy jumpers and the Cats margin makes me uncomfortable and frustrated, all at once.
The Swans are running freely, dominating like old times. The Hoodoo may not be broken this evening and it sends shivers down my spine.
Stewart and his men are struggling early. Zach Tuohy has taken a hard knock too.
My mind trickles back to Power House and the mass amounts of wet jumpers, socks and shorts I pile into the wash bags to take home.
“That’ll be a big wash for me, all these muddy jumpers, thanks boys,” I say to no one. I’m usually alone at this time of the evening in the change rooms.
I pack the car up and we’ve suddenly kicked a handful of goals to snatch a minor quarter time lead.
I don’t want to peak early, but when we played the Hawks on Easter Monday a few weeks back, they gave their all in that first quarter and we still came out with the lead.
I say nothing, like usual. There is no need for jinxing at such an early stage.
I start the drive home with Dad, we hear that Esava Ratugolea has spun out of the contest and kicked a beauty around his body. Pretty rare for a guy of his size, but nonetheless, very special.
Dad pumps his fists and he drives faster to get home to watch the last quarter. Haven’t seen him this pumped up for a number of years.
We don’t play a spectacular, breathtaking last term, but we hold on. It’s different. Our style, our drive and our willingness to step up and hold our Geelong way.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
If this is our rough patch, we’re doing pretty darn well. And last year, we would’ve lost all of our closer games. But this is Geelong of now and we’re different.
Mitch Duncan has been quietly grinding and good on him, his role is more crucial than we Cats fans know.
Tom Hawkins seems happier and rightly so. He has reinvented his game style
But no one looks happier than our Luke Dahlhaus. He’s loving it back home and he surely s living it up in this Geelong winter so far.
We are sitting pretty on top, two games and percentage clear.
Winter has welcomed Geelong and it excites me as we go deeper into the 2019 season.
I sing the song with Dad, the one constant in my life. Lots of gusto, we sing, arm in arm.
We move to the laundry and look down at the muddy mess that those Power House boys have left us.
Dad looks at me.
“Winter is upon us.”
I smile. And I couldn’t be happier.
GEELONG 5.1 7.2 11.4 13.7 (85)
SYDNEY 3.3 5.8 6.12 8.15 (63)
Geelong: Hawkins 4, Ratugolea 2, Dangerfield 2, Kelly, Clark, Duncan, Dahlhaus, Miers,
Sydney: Haywood 2, Franklin, Papley, Heeney, Reid, Blakey, Menzel
Geelong: Kelly, Dangerfield, Stewart, Duncan, Hawkins
Sydney: Parker, Lloyd, Hewett, Dawson, Heeney
Geelong: Rhys Stanley (adductor) replaced in selected side by Zac Smith
Umpires: Donlon, Hosking, Harris
Official crowd: 29,021 at GMHBA Stadium